It probably doesn't matter where you live; your state (and your lien holder) require you to have auto insurance. If you own a home, your lender requires you also have coverage. Your employer and you both contribute to pay the premium for your health insurance. And your work comp coverage. If you have a spouse or children, you most likely have life insurance (some employers also contribute to this coverage). Businesses are required to also carry liability coverage, as well as inventory and building insurance, among others. Then, of course, there's optional insurance you can purchase, in addition, to all that is required. Consider trip insurance, pet insurance, dental, earthquake, jewelry, collectibles, boat, long term disability, road service, umbrella coverage, disability, and even on specific parts of your body. (One famous dancer insured her legs for an astronomical - at the time - amount. And a Colorado dentist insured his fingers for enough money to assure him a carefree retirement, then promptly cut one off "accidentally on purpose" and filed a claim. The good doctor, minus his right hand Peter Pointer, did NOT pass Go, did NOT collect $2 million and DID go directly to jail!)

Let's face it, insurance is something we all have a stake in. If you add up all the premiums you pay over the course of a year, you'll find it's a pretty good chunk of change for all this protection.

When an accident strikes, it's not uncommon to think, "Wow, I've paid all this money all these years, and now, it's time for ME TO COLLECT!"

But, before you go running off to your claims office, let's think about this for just a minute.

The purpose of insurance to to "share the risk" - many people pay into the pot each year to cover their RISK PERIOD, which is usually 6 months for a car or 1 year for a house. As claims occur, the money in the pot is used to put the person who had the claim back to the position they were in just prior to the claim. This means if you had a 2000 Ford Mustang, that you get the value of a 2000 Ford Mustang (assuming it was totaled), not the value of a 2006 Ford Mustang. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

It works the same way for any type of claim. The objective is to put you back where you were just prior to the loss. Of course, sometimes very serious accidents occur causing death or irreversible injuries and the only thing that can be done, it to monetarily make the injured person "whole."

Most of us understand this concept and play by the rules.

Fraudsters, however, don't care about this concept. All they want to do is reap the rewards.

There are two types of fraud within the industry: Soft fraud and hard fraud.

Soft fraud is opportunist fraud involving things like:

Claiming or enhancing an injury (treating longer than necessary, taking off work when you could have worked, etc.) in order to receive a larger settlement.

Hard fraud is a deliberate act to or attempt to steal money from that pot where YOU put your money.

The pages in our auto section primarily deal with hard fraud. We hope they provide you with the information to recognize and protect yourself from these crooks.

And every time someone steals money, either by hard or soft fraud, from your pot, remember, it causes the risk to go up and when the risk goes up, so does your premium.

It's NOT the insurance company's money they're taking, it's YOURS!

Get mad. Fight back America!

  • The body shop "covering" the deductible.
  • Claiming damage that wasn't caused in the accident.
  • Or, in the case of a homeowner's claim, claiming something that wasn't really stolen.